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No disciplinary action against police officials over Roma database

Published måndag 18 januari 2016 kl 19.26
Demonstration utanför Riksdagshuset efter det att registreringen av romer avslöjats. Skärmdump på polishanding. Foto: TT. Montage: Sveriges Radio.
Photo: TT. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

An investigation by the police's staff disciplinary board directs criticism towards two police officials for being responsible for the flaws in the so-called Roma database, but the investigation also concludes that their involvement was not serious enough to warrant any disciplinary action.

The two police heads criticised in the report are Stefan Sinteus, the former head of the serious crime investigation unit in Skåne, and Hans Nordin, former deputy county police in Skåne. The disciplinary board argues that Sinteus shoud not have allowed the register to be created in the first place, because the reasons given were to vague, and Nordin is criticised because it was not clear who was responsible for ensuring that the database followed the police's laws on data protection.

The illegal register - a database compiled by the Skåne police in southern Sweden - listed names and personal details of over 4,000 Roma people. It was exposed by newspaper Dagens Nyheter in 2013 and has since been the subject of several investigations.

The Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection has previously concluded that the Skåne police's treatment of personal data was unlawful, and in March the parliamentary ombudsman issued sharp criticism of the Skåne police and the previous county police commissioner for keeping the register.

The chancellor of justice has awarded damages of SEK 5,000 to the individuals on the register. Some 2,800 people have since claimed damages, which has cost the state a total of over SEK 14 million.

At first, two local police officers were suspected of misconduct, but the investigation was dropped as prosecutors could not point out who was responsible.

This is likely the last investigation to look into who should be held accountable for the database, according to Swedish Radio News.

"We will not launch another investigation similar to this one," says Lotta Gustavsson, vice chair of the police's staff disciplinary board.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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